One word of caution. EMLA anesthetic disc and cream should not be used on anyone with a rare blood disease called methemoglobinemia. (However LHX cream can be used on someone with this disorder).
Since babies under one year have a higher risk for the development of methemoglobinemia, doctors and nurses should use only the recommended amount of EMLA on children this young. For infants under 5 kg, the recommended maximum dosage is 1 gm, application area is 10 cm2 (1.25 × 1.25 inches), and application time is 1 hour.
It is not recommended for use on mucous membranes. EMLA disc and cream should not be left on the skin longer than three hours. If it is, side effects and methemoglobinemia may occur. Itching and rash occurred in two percent of the patients it was tried on. Skin paleness occurred in 37 percent. In seven percent there was swelling. In seven percent there was a changed ability to feel hot or cold. But these side effects went away within one or two hours after the patch was taken off or the cream wiped off.
For further reading refer to this report.
Occasionally EMLA patch or cream will cause the veins to constrict, making blood drawing hard (vasoconstriction). If this occurs the veins can be made to unconstrict by applying a warm pack to the site before the procedure.
This is the first product I have received feedback about from a real parent with a real kid. Here are two letters from a parent of an autistic eight-year-old.
“Of course. Most of the kids that go to our DAN get the cream and the nurse says that most don’t flinch. The kids she generally has a problem with (even with the cream) are those that have had really traumatic,
painful incidences elsewhere.”
“Our doc uses EMLA, which is lidocaine. It’s just incredible and you can see the difference. My kiddo doesn’t have any fear of the IV, but if we ever go to a place like Quest for a regular blood draw he screams bloody murder and fights tooth and nail. He starts acting up the minute he sees their building. It’s crazy not to try to make the experience better since our kids are always having to have so many pokes.”